Iranian agents are planning to stoke tensions during pro-Gaza protests, UK police have warned.
Their plans include online disinformation as well as a physical presence at protests, The Times reported.
A pro-Gaza rally in London last week had over 100,000 people in attendance.
Iranian agents are planning to provoke tensions during pro-Gaza protests, UK police have warned.
The agents are linked to the Iranian government, and their plans include online disinformation as well as a physical presence at protests, counterterrorism officers said, per The Times of London.
The sources clarified that the main organizers of the protests across the country were not linked to Iran, and that the provocateurs dispatched by Tehran were infiltrating on the fringes.
The UK's counter-extremism commissioner, Robin Simcox, said last week that the "scale of Iranian-backed activity in this country; and the extent to which Iran attempts to stoke extremism here" was under-estimated, per The Times.
A pro-Gaza rally in London last week had over 100,000 protesters, and this Saturday's rally is expected to draw an even bigger crowd, on the day Israel expanded its military operations in the Gaza territory, following weeks of mobilization.
The Metropolitan Police has said officers will intervene if there are "jihad" chants after officers received backlash for not arresting protesters behind such chants last week. A thousand officers were expected to be on duty.
The hostile state activity from Iranian operatives is complicating the policing of protests, a security source told The Times.
Although the US has said there is no direct evidence connecting Iran to the deadly Hamas attack on Israel, analysts note that the country is a major source of funding for the militant group.
Following the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks that killed 1,400 people, Israel has bombarded Gaza with airstrikes, killing more than 6,500 people, per the Gaza Health Ministry.
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